Butler’s insight informs artist’s work
Aucklander adds flavour to festival
Well-known Auckland artist Gavin Hipkins is bringing a special exhibition to the Forrester Gallery for Steampunk 2015.
The exhibition explores a key chapter in Samuel Butler’s 1872 book Erewhon, called – The Book of the Machines.
Gallery director Jane Macknight said the exhibition is very much about an aspect of steampunk.
‘‘ Samuel Butler believed that machines would evolve to develop consciousness and enslave humanity,’’ Macknight said.
‘‘This exhibition explores Butler’s ideas through photography and film.’’
Hipkins said Butler’s poetic meditations on industrial society and colonialism remain a timely reflection on contemporary society and our technological dependencies.
In his own words Butler said the advent of machinery is charged with sinister import to the entity of man – physical, intellectual, moral.
The exhibition consists of still photographs presented alongside a 26-minute extract from the full feature length film which was a finalist in the 2014 New Zealand Film Awards.
The film was also shown at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Parts of the film were shot in North Otago.
The artist will be in town to give a talk for Steampunk 2015 and Macknight encourages everyone to come along.
‘‘ Gavin will speak Forrester Gallery at Friday 29 May.
‘‘The talk is specially timed so locals and steampunk visitors can attend the talk then head to the precinct for the Oamaru on Fire celebrations.’’
The Forrester Gallery has also put together a small mash-up display of steampunk artwork from its permanent collection for this year’s steampunk festival. at the 5.30pm,